St Luke’s faces 9m HSBC pitch

St Luke’s faces a review of its 9m Midland advertising account after the decision by the bank’s parent HSBC to axe the brand name from the UK high street.

HSBC announced last week that it is to rebrand most of its wholly-owned bank subsidiaries worldwide with its own name, and will scrap other trading names. These include Marine Midland Bank in the US, the British Bank of the Middle East and Midland in the UK.

It is understood that a single ad agency could be appointed to handle the HSBC brand worldwide.

Richard Beck, head of external relations for HSBC, says the details of how the rebranding exercise will be communicated have yet to be decided. “We haven’t taken a decision on how to organise the advertising. An announcement ad on the rebranding goes out this week. Which agency handles the work beyond that is something we will have to review,” he says.

The final decision will rest with the HSBC corporate affairs department, headed by director Michael Broadbent, although it is thought Mary Jo Jacobi, advisor to the Midland board who runs the marketing division, will have a role.

St Luke’s has helped to produce the ads announcing the name change, and will continue to work on the Midland brand until the end of next year when the rebranding is expected to be completed.

HSBC has confirmed that First Direct, the telephone banking arm, will retain its name.

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